FREEPORT — A decorated machine shed at the Keith Hinrichs farm west of Freeport served as the backdrop for the inaugural Farm-to-Table dinner on Thursday, Sept. 14. Presented by the Highland Community College Agriculture Department, the evening was also sponsored by the Highland Community College Foundation, and the Stephenson County Farm Bureau.
With a light social hour for 104 guests in attendance to mingle with friends and colleagues, the five-course meal featured locally grown items from eggplant, onions, apples, and watermelon. The main entrée was balsamic glazed beef tenderloin medallions topped with Tuscan chutney, served with roasted cauliflower and wild rice.
“This evening provided a setting in which city and country guests shared a common purpose, supporting our local agricultural environment while raising up opportunities to enhance the rapidly developing Highland College Ag programs,” said Bruce Johnson, Stephenson County Farm Bureau Manager.
The evening would not have been possible without the contributions of many local businesses. The Highland Community College Agriculture Department would like to thank the following contributors: Casey Meyers, Cedar Hills Gardens; Dittmar Farms and Orchard; Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery; Farm First Cooperative; Groezinger Produce Farm; Lena Brewing Company; Megz Country Cheese; Oriana’s Oriental Orchard; Raines Honey Farm; Sullivan’s Foods, and The Cheese Market. We would like to thank The Rafters Restaurant, Catering & Events for preparing and serving the meal. Also special thanks to the Hinrichs family and employees for the use of their farm.
The event was held to raise awareness of the opportunities available through the Highland Community College Agriculture Department. The Agriculture program currently has 63 full-time students pursuing degrees in Animal Science, Crop and Soil Science, Agribusiness, Ag Education, and Horticulture. Students can also participate in extra-curricular activities such as the Dairy Judging Team, Soils Judging Team, Post-Secondary Agriculture Students (PAS) Organization, and the Collegiate Farm Bureau.